Family and Community Medicine Residency (State College, PA)

Program Overview

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, PA, is a three-year, ACGME-accredited program that admits six residents per year.

Program Highlights

Program Details

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center gives you the chance to make a difference in the lives of patients. Our faculty, staff and community physicians provide ample opportunities for continuing medical education to ensure optimal patient care and professional development.

Resident involvement in inpatient, outpatient and community activities is not only essential for the program’s growth but also sets you up for future success. Residents will have the opportunity to spend time in key specialties and subspecialties as well as participate in educational programs, prevention events and health screenings.

By partnering with Mount Nittany Health, we have combined the resources of central Pennsylvania’s most trusted healthcare provider with the excellence of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. We are thrilled to expand the ability to meet the growing need for family medicine physicians and provide superior care to Centre County residents.

Our goal is to prepare family physicians who are committed to the total health care of the individual and family. With only six slots per year, residents receive more individualized attention, a hallmark of the University Park Regional Campus experience.

As the only residency program in State College, our residents benefit from the academic support and resources of Penn State Health, Mount Nittany Health and Penn State University. By integrating our standards of excellence with an innovative curriculum, we are preparing family physicians to practice quality, full-spectrum medicine.

As part of the first department of Family and Community Medicine in an academic health center in the United States, we are proud to provide a complete, sensitive, and compassionate training opportunity for family physicians. Our faculty and staff are committed to excellence and continuous improvement of education and patient care.

We encourage you to explore the innovative and challenging curriculum we have designed to prepare family physicians to practice effectively and thoughtfully.

Our Team

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide the best possible Family Medicine graduate medical educational experience by teaching and demonstrating how to provide compassionate, coordinated, high-quality, evidence-based, cost-effective care in a safe learning environment that openly seeks to learn from and reduce medical errors while modeling lifelong learning.

Core Values

  • Educate to be the best.
  • Treat everyone with love and respect.
  • Foster true teamwork through servant-leadership and collaboration.
  • Promote passion for curiosity, continuous quality improvement and innovation.
  • Have integrity, honesty and transparency.
  • Promote health and well-being throughout the program.

Overall Educational Goals

  • Train fully competent and compassionate family physicians that are prepared to provide high-quality, coordinated, comprehensive and continuous primary care to families and the community.
  • Teach and demonstrate evidence-based, cost-effective care in a safe learning environment that openly seeks to learn from and reduce medical errors.
  • Train physicians to work in the context of a collaborative team.
  • Develop the physician into a lifelong learner and educator.
  • Train physicians to assume leadership roles in local communities, Pennsylvania and the nation.
  • Provide the people of central Pennsylvania compassionate, quality care regardless of their resources.

Curriculum

Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum

Research has shown that educational structure influences learner performance and well-being. Many residencies structure their schedule in traditional four- to eight-week block rotations. Some challenges of this model include reduced continuity with faculty and patients, interruptions to residents’ skill development and a reduction in patient-centered care. 

To address these challenges, our program takes a modified LIC approach by structuring rotations into one- to two-week experiences that repeat throughout the year. Residents receive a total of four to eight weeks in each core rotation just like the traditional approach.

Current literature maintains that, in the following areas, LIC approaches have the following impacts.

Faculty/Resident Teaching Relationships

  • Facilitate the development of mentor relationships through continuity of feedback
  • Improve the faculty and learners precepting experience
  • Aid faculty’s ability to appropriately entrust levels of resident responsibility for patient care, coordination and education of other learners

Resident/Patient Clinical Relationships

  • Increase resident/patient continuity in an inpatient setting
  • Increase awareness of the way social context impacts patient care
  • Amplify medical learners patient-centeredness
  • Improve residents understanding of the patient’s illness experience

Residents’ Intrapersonal Attributes and Professionalism

  • Maintain acquisition and retention of knowledge
  • Develop knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Increase awareness of how a health care system functions
  • Provide a sense of preparation for practice in an ambulatory setting
  • Stem ethical erosion of learners
  • Improve understanding of health care coordination and the role of Family Medicine providers in the health care system

The LIC model is a validated educational structure that we believe in strongly at the Regional Campus. Residents will have the opportunity to learn new skills, receive feedback, and then revisit the rotation several weeks later with a refreshed perspective and skill set to build on previous learning. Most importantly, the LIC approach mirrors the wide spectrum of practice that our residents will encounter in their careers as family physicians.

References

  1. Mitchell M, Srinivasan M, West D, et al. Factors affecting resident performance: Development of a theoretical model and a focused literature review. Acad Med. 2005;80:376-389.
  2. Hudson JN, Knight PJ, Weston KM. Patient perceptions of innovative longitudinal integrated clerkships based in regional, rural and remote primary care: A qualitative study. BMC Fam Pract. 2012;13:72.
  3. Hirsh D, Gaufberg E, Ogur B, et al. Educational Outcomes of the Harvard Medical School-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship: A Way Forward for Medical Education. Acad. Med. 2012;87:643-650.
  4. Mihalynuk T, Bates J, Page G, Fraser J. Student learning experiences in a longitudinal clerkship programme. Med Ed. 2008;42:729-732
  5. Hauer KE, Hirsh D, Ma I, et al. The role of role: learning in longitudinal integrated and traditional block clerkships. Medical Education. 2012;46:698-710.
  6. Hirsh DA, Holmboe ES, ten Cate O. Time to Trust: Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships and Entrustable Professional Activities. Academic Medicine. 2014;89:201-204.

Year-By-Year Curriculum

Please Note: Curriculum is subject to change as we arrange the optimum educational experiences for residents. Individual resident schedules will vary.

Below is a sample schedule for Year 1 through Year 3. In each year, additional longitudinal and elective experiences are built-in to enhance learning experiences and showcase the various specialties available in the region.

Year 1

First-year curriculum is designed to provide interns with a diverse foundational base of Family Medicine topics to progressively build upon both in the inpatient and outpatient settings. First-year residents spend one half day per week seeing continuity patients in the Penn State Health – Park Avenue practice site.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Cardiology — 4 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Family Medicine Inpatient — 8 weeks
  • General Surgery — 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics — 8 weeks
  • Pediatrics — 8 weeks

Year 2

Second-year residents spend an average of four half-days per week in their continuity clinic and one half-day per month seeing continuity long-term care patients. Second-year curriculum is structured to continue to advance residents’ competency and autonomy.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Gynecology — 4 weeks
  • Hospitalist — 8 weeks
  • ICU — 8 weeks
  • Musculoskeletal — 4 weeks
  • Night Float — 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics — 4 weeks

Year 3

In the third and final year, residents spend time concentrating on areas of interest and preparing for graduation into independent practice. Third-year residents spend an average of five half-days per week in their continuity clinic and one half-day per month seeing continuity long-term care patients.

Anticipated core rotations include:

  • Emergency Medicine — 4 weeks
  • Family Medicine Inpatient-Senior — 8 weeks
  • Musculoskeletal — 4 weeks
  • Night Float — 4 weeks

Electives

Elective options will be based on academic year and consent of the Program Director and/or Coordinator. Options include:

  • Critical Care
  • Nephrology
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Ears-Nose-Throat
  • Rehab
  • Endocrinology
  • Rheumatology
  • Global Health
  • Sports Medicine
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Women’s Health

Please Note: Curriculum is subject to change as we arrange the optimum educational experiences for residents. Individual resident schedules will vary.

Osteopathic-Focused Education

The Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center is committed to teaching and assessing Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP).

The program received Osteopathic Recognition from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in July 2015.

The Osteopathic Clinical Learning Environment and Curriculum

Residents in the osteopathic track receive an integrated osteopathic education and training experience to develop the knowledge, skills, and behavior necessary for successful osteopathic practice. Osteopathic Principles and Practice are integrated into the curriculum through lectures, hands-on workshops, direct patient care and an OMT skills evaluation at the beginning of each resident year. Training opportunities and resources are available from osteopathic family physicians within Penn State Health, Mount Nittany Health, and our OPTI affiliation with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Osteopathic-focused residents will:

  • Perform an accurate and complete osteopathic structural examination to diagnose somatic dysfunction;
  • Incorporate osteopathic principles when obtaining a history, performing an examination, interpreting diagnostic testing, developing a differential diagnosis and devising a patient care plan;
  • Apply knowledge of the four tenets and osteopathic five-model concept in treating the patients;
  • Coordinate the health care team in providing compassionate, patient-centered care utilizing the osteopathic tenets;
  • Gain an understanding of the following with respect to OMT:
    • Cost benefit and cost avoidance;
    • Interaction of OMT within the health care system;
    • Familiarity with principles of reimbursement, accurate coding and billing for OMT;
    • Assessing barriers that lead to disparities in health and health care.

Osteopathic Noon Lecture Series

This series, presented as an hour-long conference, is mandatory for all family medicine residents. Presenters include osteopathic-focused faculty and osteopathic-track residents mentored by osteopathic-focused faculty. Topics include:

  • Identification and Treatment of Cervical Spine Dysfunction
  • Identification and Treatment of Thoracic Spine Dysfunction
  • Identification and Treatment of Lumbar Spine Dysfunction
  • Identification and Treatment of Upper Extremity Dysfunction
  • Identification and Treatment of Lower Extremity Dysfunction
  • Treatment of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disorders Using Osteopathic Techniques
  • Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders Using Osteopathic Techniques
  • Osteopathic Treatment in Pregnancy
  • Treating the Headache with OMT
  • Advanced Techniques: HVLA
  • Advanced Techniques: Soft Tissue Techniques, Muscle Energy and FPR

Osteopathic Seminar Workshops

This series, presented as a four-hour semiannual seminar, is mandatory for all family medicine residents and open to all medical staff for AOA credit through Mount Nittany Medical Center and our OPTI agreement with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Presenters include osteopathic-focused faculty and osteopathic-tract residents mentored by osteopathic-focused faculty. While the seminars will include a didactic portion, greater time is devoted to hands-on demonstration and practice.

Topics include:

  • Treatment of Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Dysfunction
  • Treatment of Upper and Lower Extremity Dysfunction
  • Opportunities for Osteopathic Treatment of the Hospitalized Patient
  • Advanced Techniques: HVLA, Soft Tissue Techniques, Muscle Energy and FPR

Osteopathic Utilization Committee

This committee meets quarterly to review inpatient cases and clinic cases utilizing osteopathic techniques.

The committee consists of Drs. Franklin Berkey, Ryan Ridenour, Kristen Grine, and Philip Miller, and the meeting is mandatory for all osteopathic-track residents and open to all osteopathic physicians.

AOA credit through Mount Nittany Medical Center and our OPTI agreement with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is available.

To Apply

All applicants must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Applicants will only be considered for interview and entry into the program if they meet the basic eligibility criteria below and have submitted a complete ERAS application.

Preference will be given to those applicants with solid academic standing at an LCME or AOA-accredited medical school and with a record of leadership, teamwork, compassion, and integrity.

Applicants are discouraged from making solicitations to the program via telephone call or through means other than ERAS.

Review the Office of Graduate Medical Education Eligibility and Selection of Residents Policy here.

Eligibility Criteria for Graduates of LCME–Accredited Allopathic U.S. Medical Schools

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years. Preference is given to current academic year graduates.
  • Passed USMLE (Steps 1 and 2) with no more than one total prior failure.
  • Passed the Clinical Skills (CS) exam on first attempt.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician.

Eligibility Criteria for Osteopathic Graduates

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years.
  • Graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  • COMLEX scores passed with no more than one total prior failure.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician.

Eligibility Criteria for Graduates of Non-LCME and AOA-Accredited Medical Schools

Very highly qualified graduates of non-LCME accredited medical schools may possibly be considered for an interview if they meet the residency’s standards for consideration.

  • Graduated from medical school within the past three years.
  • Passed USMLE (Steps 1 and 2) with no more than one total prior failure.
  • Passed the Clinical Skills (CS) exam on first attempt.
  • Minimum of three months clinical training in the U.S., or clinical experience elsewhere which clearly demonstrates an understanding and interest in primary care and family medicine in particular.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a family physician or primary-care physician.

Application to the Osteopathic Track

All physicians applying for an osteopathic-focused position are subject to the requirements as set forth in the ACGME Osteopathic Recognition Requirements, Section IV, “Residency Eligibility.” Interested candidates must have sufficient background and/or instruction in osteopathic philosophy and techniques in manipulative medicine. Candidates for the osteopathic medicine track can hold a DO or MD degree.

Selection and Interview Process

The program begins reviewing candidates when ERAS opens in September. Once your completed ERAS application is received, qualified applicants will be invited for an interview until all available interview spots have been filled.

Applications are reviewed via ERAS beginning in September. Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled October through January. Please see below for a sample interview day itinerary. The program is happy to pay for one night of hotel accommodations at a local hotel, although interviewees are responsible for providing their own transportation to State College. The program will also arrange for candidates to meet with current residents the evening prior to the interview.

Sample Interview Day Itinerary

  • Night before: Penn State Berkey Creamery with residents
  • 7 a.m. Overview with the program coordinator
  • 7:15 a.m. Breakfast with Penn State Health faculty and staff
  • 8 a.m. Program director’s welcome
  • 8:45 a.m. Tour of practice site and Mount Nittany Medical Center
  • 9:30 a.m. Interview 1
  • 10 a.m. Interview 2
  • 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m. Interview 3
  • 11:15 a.m. Interview 4
  • 11:45 a.m. Lunch with Mount Nittany Health faculty and staff
  • 1:30 p.m. Questions and wrap-up with faculty
  • 2:30 p.m. Closing

Schedules are subject to change.

For details, questions and/or comments, email us at statecollegefcmresidency@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Faculty and Staff

Current Residents

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine Residency at Mount Nittany Medical Center
1850 E. Park Ave.
Suite 207
State College, PA 16803

Life in State College, PA (“Happy Valley”)

World-class residency, university town setting!

Advance your career and enhance your quality of life in State College, Pennsylvania: home of Penn State University, University Park Regional Campus of Penn State College of Medicine, and Mount Nittany Health. The Centre County region is a unique area where cosmopolitan cultural influences blend with an affordable cost of living and relaxed country pace — all against a backdrop of lush, rural landscapes. It’s a place where both careers and families thrive.

Maybe that is what attracts a diverse spectrum of people from around the world: medical experts and college professors, artists and grade school teachers, business executives and students.

Whether you are seeking collaboration with accomplished colleagues, inspiration from world-class entertainment, the charm and security of historic neighborhoods, or the thrill of Big Ten sports events, you’ll find all that and more in the place we call home.

Imagine yourself at the center of an internationally recognized university town, working in a collegial atmosphere where patient care, careers and quality of life are all advancing. The region offers something for everyone, whether you prefer the energetic, youthful vibe of downtown State College or the historic architecture and relaxed pace of nearby Bellefonte.

The moderate cost of living and affordable home prices give you the option of several housing choices, from a new home in a new neighborhood to a historic Victorian home or an easy-care condominium. And the excellent public schools and low crime rate make the area perfect for raising a family. Life is pretty good when you work in “Happy Valley.”

Centre County Statistics

  • Population: 160,580
  • Median household income: $50,295
  • Median home value: $193,500
  • Median rent: $872
  • Average commute to work: 20 minutes

Source: United States Census Bureau (2010–2015)

To learn more about the community, please visit the following websites:

Program Benefits

Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.